When considering candid documentary photography, it would be easy to deduce that the key to a successful shot is about being in the right place at the right time with the right subjects to shoot, and then simply pointing the camera. However, as Stephanie Calabrese Roberts explains in Lens On Life, while that might be the case, the journey to that point is just as crucial.

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Lens on Life

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Author: Stephanie Calabrese Roberts

Lens on Life is a dissection of what it takes to be a successful documentary photographer, covering everything from interviews with famous photographers, through to the nuts and bolts of planning a photography trip. It’s within the interviews in the opening chapter that the amount of thought that goes into documentary images becomes apparent. Simple candid images are unveiled as the result of months of planning and the embodiment of a wider idea, rather than a point-and-shoot snap.

The title is an interesting look into the mind of a documentary photographer with Roberts – herself both an acclaimed photographer and writer – offering some great advice on both a technical and philosophical level.